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Senate Threatens to Fire Government Officials Who Ignore Invitations

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The Senate has warned the heads of government agencies who fail to honour its invitations to review the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) projections. The upper chamber said that any official who does not show up in person for the ongoing interactive session will be sacked by President Bola Tinubu.

The Senate Committees on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning, and Local and Foreign Debts jointly organise the session to scrutinise the assumptions and parameters of the MTEF/FSP, which provides the basis for the annual budget. The session will last four days, from Thursday, November 9 to Monday, November 13.

However, on the first day of the session, some of the invited agencies failed to appear or sent representatives instead of their chief executives. This angered the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, who said such behaviour showed a lack of seriousness and respect for the legislature. He said that the President must take a second look at the appointments of such officials and remove them from office.

Akpabio said that the MTEF/FSP is a critical document that requires the input and collaboration of all stakeholders, especially the executive arm of government. He said that the Senate is determined to ensure that the document reflects the realities of the economy and the needs of the people. He also said that the Senate will not tolerate any attempt to sabotage or undermine its constitutional role of oversight and appropriation.

The Senate President said that the country is facing enormous security, inflation, debt, and revenue generation challenges. He said that the Senate is committed to working with the executive to find solutions and implement reforms that will stimulate economic growth and improve the welfare of Nigerians. He urged the invited agencies to cooperate and provide the necessary information and data for the session.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Sani Musa, said that the session aims to ensure that the MTEF/FSP is realistic, credible, and sustainable. He said that the committee has requested some documents from the agencies, such as their revenue and expenditure profiles, debt profiles, and performance indicators. He said that the session will resume on Monday and warned that any agency that fails to comply will face sanctions.

The MTEF/FSP is a three-year rolling plan that sets the federal government’s macroeconomic framework, fiscal targets, expenditure ceilings, and revenue estimates. It also provides the basis for preparing the annual budget, which is expected to be presented by the President in the third week of November. The MTEF/FSP for 2024-2026 was approved by the Federal Executive Council on October 16 and submitted to the National Assembly on October 18.

Source: Business Day

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